How do you dispose of a dead betta fish

How do you dispose of a dead betta fish? Betta Fish are some of the most popular pets today. One reason is because they are aesthetically pleasing to look at with their big, bright scales that seem to glow when placed under a proper light source. Another reason is because they are very human-like in their personalities, often staring off into space for prolonged periods of time until something catches their interest.

Unfortunately, this behavior has led to many misconceptions about these little creatures which causes people to be quick in abandoning or disposing of them without knowing what may have caused it, not realizing that it could have been prevented. What makes bettas so intriguing is just how easy it is for them to die if ignored or abused. This article will the common reasons why these fish die so easily, as well as how to tell if your betta is dying.

Do Betta Fish Die Easily?

Yes they do die easily! Unfortunately for many reasons, bettas are fragile and very susceptible to stress. Once a peaceful situation happens that causes stress in them, they will not be able to handle it well which leads to a number of problems that can cause death.

Common Reasons for Betta Fish Deaths

How do you dispose of a dead betta fish

Bettas can die easily if they are not fed properly, are overfed, the water is polluted with too many toxins, or if there are parasites. It is more common for these fish to die of internal parasites rather than from getting caught in a net or attacked by another fish because their scales are hard enough that it takes more than your average fish to cause damage.

The reason bettas get internal parasites is because they live in bowls instead of tanks with filters and places for them to hide for protection. Bowls only have one opening which means the water doesn’t circulate well at all. When you add in food that can rot or be left behind after eating, these are just perfect conditions for letting parasites multiply without being removed from the tank. Even if you do manage to get rid of the parasites, they may come back because this is just an ideal home for them to live in.

To keep bettas healthy you must first give them proper housing that allows them to survive and thrive like any other fish should. This means getting a tank with filter and heater at least 5 gallons in size (the more the better) instead of something smaller like a bowl. It also would be good to provide some sort of cover or shelter for them so they can hide when feeling threatened or overwhelmed by something. Also, make sure there are no sharp surfaces like rocks on the bottom as these can cause serious damage. Clean water is another part of maintaining their health which you will need to do often to avoid their living environment from becoming contaminated.

Water Condition Issues

Water condition issues are another common reason why bettas die so easily. This is because they are not native to our hard, alkaline water here in the U.S., which means that over time exposure will begin to wear down their scales and skin until their life is cut short if not maintained properly. Bettas need soft water with a ph at 6.5 or lower, usually through use of conditioners like Seachem Prime or API Stress Coat+. They also need high temperature around 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) at least, but higher temperatures are best for them between 82-86 degrees F (28-30 degrees C). These are just average conditions that they normally thrive in and will do the best if kept there.

If you notice your betta is outside of these ranges, then something is wrong and this could be a threat to their survival unless it can be resolved. One common cause for this would be using tap water or softened water from a hose because this introduces minerals like calcium and magnesium into the water which makes it too hard for bettas to survive. This also means you cannot use tap water conditioners either as these will not work properly to make up for all those harmful chemicals introduced naturally by the source of the water. If you see bubbles at your betta’s skin after being in a new tank, it is probably time to go buy some better conditioner.


Overfeeding is another common reason why bettas die quickly because they are simply not evolved to handle our food properly. They want live foods like worms but cannot eat much at one time, which means that when you feed them flake or pellet food it often goes bad in the tank before your fish can eat it all. This causes the water quality to drop severely and gives parasites exactly what they need to grow without any natural source of control brought on by betta’s usual diet of tiny insects and such. Also, many times people will dutifully feed their betta as directed on the package only resulting in overfeeding since those guidelines are based on averages instead of factoring in betta’s low metabolism. Bettas are also social eaters, which means they like to be fed together in groups at once rather than alone. This will help to avoid overfeeding because the betta who eats first won’t come back for more until it is time to feed again.

How do you dispose of a dead betta fish


Stress is another common reason for sickness and death because it lowers immune function which can lead to other problems that end up fatal. One of the most common causes of stress would be water temperature changes whether too hot or cold, since bettas do not like extreme temperature differences (they prefer slightly higher temperatures). It can also cause unnecessary stress when combining bettas if not done properly by first quarantining new bettas before bringing them home so there is time to observe them for signs of disease. Another common cause is moving a betta’s tank, which should be done as little as possible to avoid upsetting their equilibrium and making them very sick. Overstocking a tank or overcrowding can also lead to stress because bettas are not meant to handle being in close quarters with other fish where they cannot hide from threats.


Injuries are another common reason why bettas die quickly because it lowers immune function which leads directly to other problems that end up fatal. One of the most common causes of injuries would be from bullying from other fish, who will seek out the weaker ones and try to put them out of commission through biting at their fins or chasing them into things like decorations. Another common cause is from falling or jumping out of the tank, which can happen when bettas are startled by sudden movements or if their tanks are situated on high furniture. Bettas can fall very far without injury because they have a set of transparent wing-like fins called “pectoral fins” that allow them to glide in the air for short distances before they drop down into whatever surface they fell onto. This is why placing your betta’s tank on the floor instead of up high will greatly reduce risk of falling injuries while still allowing them to get good exercise by swimming around freely during playtime with you.

How to Tell If Your Betta Is Dying

One sign that your betta may be dying would be if he starts to act out of character like hiding all the time instead of playing like usual, or staying at the bottom of the tank without swimming around. Other signs would be laying on his side or his fins clamped down against his body; not eating; scratching, flashing, and rubbing at himself for long periods of time while avoiding light may indicate some type of bacterial infection brought on by an injury. If your betta is having trouble breathing then you should probably take him into a fish store so they can put him under observation and give you an accurate diagnosis about how best to proceed with treatment, since there are so many different possible reasons for it.

Do betta fish float or sink when they die?

It depends on how they die. If a betta dies from old age then his body will remain in the water only because the gas exchange still occurs even when he is dead and it causes him to float with his head up out of the water. If a betta dies from an illness or injury however, then he will sink to the bottom of the tank once his gills stop functioning and take on a sunken appearance as his body decomposes. It’s not pretty but that’s how it goes.